The Right Choice

Looking over the topics that I post weekly, I see a common theme.  I write mainly to encourage my brothers and sisters to trust that God exists, and he is who he says he is.  This week I want to approach from a different direction.

We begin by being born into this world.  The world we are born into exists with no input from us.  We didn’t choose where we would live, what race we would be, or what economic level our existence would embrace.  We are given an unknown number of years to live in this world.  We seem to have arrived with certain elements of personality and ability, but from the very start they are molded by the influences of our placement.  None of the beginning circumstances of our life have been our choice.   We will, throughout our lives, make numerous choices, but they will all be influenced by the placement we did not choose.

With this perspective in mind, the question that presents itself is what choices do we get to make?  We get to choose our response to each event in our lives, but not without outside pressures.  As I said, our responses are affected by surrounding influences.  We seem to have an inherent awareness of what is right and what is wrong.  A basic morality if you will.  Yet, if our culture says for instance an eye for an eye, we’ll be compelled to comply with that concept.  It’s our choice whether to comply, but we are under the pressure of what we are expected to choose.

So, why am I here?  Is this all there is?  Can I break away from this temporal existence upon which I have arrived?  Certainly these are reasonable questions that mankind has asked throughout the ages, and there are a lot of answers to these questions floating around.  When presented with these answers, we get to choose which one we believe is the right one.  Of all the things that are not our choice, choosing the right answer to these questions is our choice.  Trusting that God exists, and that he is who he says he is, seems the right choice to me.  I’m not trying to influence your choice, — oh yes I am.  Please forgive me, and please make the right choice.

Mortality

It is a fact that we are all going to die.  The mortality rate among humans is 100%.  People around me are dying.  Recently, a friend of mine who was 15 years younger died from brain cancer.  We’ve lost two women in our church in the last year.  I know others who are currently fighting cancer trying to stay alive.  The death of others always brings us closer to the reality of our own mortality.  The loss of a loved one is deeply painful, almost unbearable.  So, for a Christian what is a good perspective?

Our pastor, Eric Nelson*, Spoke on resurrection last Sunday.  He brought up two points that I believe help us to deal with our mortality.  First, he reminded us that the Apostle Paul referred to death as falling asleep (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15), and who is afraid to fall asleep?  The second point was that the life we are going to is far better that the life we leave.  For one thing, it is eternal.  Once we pass from this life, death will never again be an issue.

In our eternal life we will be living in heaven.  In heaven we will live a sinless existence.  Try to imagine what living without sin would be like.  I find it really hard to contemplate.  What would it be like living with no sin? The earth and all of creation is tainted by sin.  Imagine what the new earth will be like when sin is gone.

For me, when facing mortality, my greatest fear is what if my wife should go before me.  How would I be able to survive such a loss?  We are true soul mates, partners for the last 34 years.  But, notice that the concern is for me.  She will have gained.  She will be with Jesus.  Her time in a sinful world will be over.  She’ll have arrived in eternity.  She will be home, her work will be done.

So, in looking at mortality, I find there is much to rejoice about.  The future is only going to get better for those who belong to him.  Christians live by faith not by sight.  All we know now is this world, but through faith, we believe that God has prepared us an eternal place.  The greatest truth in our mortality is that we will be with him forever.

(If you don’t know him, he’s just a prayer away.)

*Eric Nelson is pastor of Delta Life Four Square Church in Madera, California.  Hear his sermons at deltalifechurch.com